About 12 soldiers were killed and dozens missing after fighting with Boko Haram terrorists in the northeastern state of Borno State
It was reported that three military sources said on Sunday confirmed to newsmen that this is one of the largest known losses of life by the army in the last month.
The army said it repelled the attack in which it said one soldier was killed and another injured.
The fighting followed an attack on Friday by insurgents in Gudumbali local government area – a part of Borno where Boko Haram breakaway group Islamic State in West Africa (ISWA) is influential.
The sources said the poor communication network in the remote area delayed details of the attack being relayed.
Reuters quoted sources as saying that the attack was carried out on a military base and a nearby community in the Gudumbali local government area.
The three military sources, all of whom are soldiers and did not want to be named, said at least 12 troops were killed and dozens were missing after the fighting.
The army, in an emailed statement, said the insurgents opened fire on troops while aid materials were being distributed in Gudumbali.
“The troops, however, fought gallantly and outmanoeuvred the attackers inflicting heavy casualties on them. Unfortunately, a soldier paid the supreme price during the encounter, while another was wounded in action,” said the army in the statement.
The biggest loss of military life in the last few months occurred in late November when around 100 soldiers were killed by ISWA militants who attacked an army base in Metele, Borno state.
One of the sources said 28 militants were killed.